Glen Campbell’s Oldest Children Granted Visitation by New Law
Glen Campbell's oldest children have scored a legal victory in their ongoing battle to win visitation rights with their ailing father. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law that will allow them to visit the country legend despite resistance from his wife.
As Rolling Stone reports, Debby Campbell-Cloyd and Travis Campbell have been battling with their stepmother, Kim Campbell, for visitation rights for more than a year. On May 16, Governor Haslam signed the Campbell / Falk Act into law. The legislation allows family members and close friends of a person with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other disabilities to visit their loved in person, or maintain contact with them by phone, email or mail, despite the stated wishes of a legally appointed conservator. The new law states that if the person can no longer communicate, like Campbell, then their prior relationship with the visitor presumes consent.
The legislation takes precedence over previous Tennessee law, in which a conservator was allowed to determine sole visitation rights. The Campbell / Falk Act will require court intervention to put those restrictions in place.
Glen Campbell Through the Years
The law is named for Campbell and Columbo star Peter Falk, whose daughter has claimed that her stepmother tried to prevent her from visiting her father and did not inform her about his death or funeral. Family members of both Campbell and Falk, as well as Campbell's former love, Tanya Tucker, attended the signing of the legislation.
“We are very pleased that this new law has been enacted,” Senator Rusty Crowe says (quote via KnoxBlogs). “It is heartbreaking to hear [about] sons and daughters who cannot spend quality time with their parent after they are incapacitated and their health is in decline. We believe this new law strikes the right balance so that it protects the rights of some of our most vulnerable citizens, while at the same time giving the conservator a fair process to follow in protecting the ward."
Campbell's children have previously claimed that Kim Campbell restricted some of Campbell's eight children from visiting him. The new legislation means they can see their father at will, but Kim can still petition the court for restrictions if she can demonstrate just cause.
“No family member has ever been denied a visit to my dad," Campbell's younger daughter, Ashley, told Rolling Stone in 2015. "Sometimes we have restrictions as far as for his privacy and safety, like restricting photos taken or items brought in, but no family member has ever been denied.”
“We have some family members who don’t understand the disease and what he’s going through and like to make a fuss," she added. "What they don’t know is what they’re doing is a disservice to their dad and to people with Alzheimer’s everywhere and their families dealing with it.”
RIP Glen Campbell